The first 90 days in a new job are an important time for many reasons. You are getting to know your new company, responsibilities and colleagues and they are also getting to know you. Impressions are formed on fairly limited information in both directions and as a new starter, it is important that you make the first 90 days count. 

Why 90 days? Well firstly, it is the standard probation period, a time in which an employer retains the right to terminate the contract of a new employee if they are not deemed to be performing to the required standard in their role. What’s more, the 90 day period also equates to a quarter of the year, a period of time by which many businesses measure performance. A new employee will in all likelihood be afforded ‘a quarter’ to impress and prove the value that they are capable of bringing to their new employer.

Clearly, the first 90 days on a new job are important, so how can you ensure that you excel during this tricky period? Here are our top five tips on how to excel during the first 90 days in your new job.

1. Arrive prepared – The first day on your new job needn’t be the first time you interact with your new team. In the weeks before you start, take the initiative to contact your new employer and ask for information about your new role and how it fits into the existing team and business goals. Turning up on your first day having already shown an eagerness to get involved and prepare for your new role is sure to impress, but more importantly puts you in a  position to perform straight away.

2. Listen and learn - Absorb as much as you can about your colleagues, their roles and responsibilities and how the company operates. Your ability to recall this information can be an important factor in showing your new employer that you are engaged in your new role and taking a serious interest. It will also allow you to form meaningful personal and professional relationships with your new colleagues, an important step in settling into any new role.

3. Be proactive – There will in all likelihood be a lot on your plate during your first 90 days, a lot to learn and a multitude of new challenges. However, it is important that you are not too passive in the way you approach new tasks; don’t just wait for things to be handed to you. Take the initiative and ask for work. There is always a tendency to underwork new employees which can be a good way of allowing them to bed in, however, there is a risk that you do not get to show what you can do and by being too passive it can be hard to make your mark.

4. Get involved – Just as important as showing that you are willing to take on more work and to be a team player is getting involved in activities away from your day job. Many organisations have formal or informal lunchtime and after-hour activities. This is an invaluable way of getting to know your colleagues, for them to get to know you and for you to enjoy your work. Workplace satisfaction and performance is not just about completing tasks but about collaboration and working relationships. Getting to know people outside of the work setting can really help.

5. Secure an ‘early win’ – Proving your worth early on is a huge way to build your reputation among your employer and colleagues. Securing an early win is a great way of showing people that you are capable of bringing positive change to your role. The early win does not have to be massive, just a tangible indication that you are capable. That might be delivering a task ahead of schedule, collaborating on a task or achieving a positive result.

The first 90 days will most likely fly by and you’ll be firmly established in your new role before you know it. But keep in mind these tips and you’ll be sure to excel from day one. By preparing ahead you can show your eagerness before you have even started. Absorbing as much information about your role and colleagues will equip you to succeed. Being proactive and getting involved will show your colleagues and employer that you are serious about your new job. And finally, securing an early win is one of the best ways to really make your mark.

For more advice on everything from being happy at work to growing your personal brand, visit our Career Advice Centre.

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